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San Francisco, CA, USA

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San Francisco 4, Borden 4, Antonini 4, Us 3, Hillis 3, Abc 1, At&t Park 1, Giggling 1, La Playa 1, Fulton 1, City 1, Sugaya 1, Hayes 1, The City 1, Applicant 1, Safeway 1, Llc 1, Small City 1, Sfpd 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    February 8, 2013
    10:30 - 11:00pm PST  

well-funded professional space. on the other side a karaoke space with one microphone, one stage and 49 occupancy. there are four hundred places of entertainment in san francisco. it has remained constant. the permitting process, the entire process takes around 45-60 days and will cost the applicant anywhere from $2000 to $2500. conditional use takes more time and is more expensive. several departments must weigh in. the planning department,
department of hotels, building, electrical, fire, police, noise inspection plus a 30 day posted notice, the application that comes in advance to the public hearing at city hall. and outreach to the neighbors of any particular venue. before i focus on the planning part i will focus on the other departments going back to the health and safety purpose of the whole process. who want to be safe, the food, fire hazards, occupancy. all the inspections that building, electrical, fire, all are pass/fail.
if there is something to have to correct they must correct it before they get a permit. to propose specific things the commission can accept or demand. the planning role starts from the very beginning. i will switch to be overhead. you have this on your desk. you don't have to look at the screen. so, this map of san francisco shows where place of entertainment permits are allowed. beiged areas are not allowed. because the map is the way does
the first thing we tell the people is to leave and go to planning. we used to ask them to call. we now have a special form. the process is expensive and long. we don't want to make someone go through it only to learn later that they can't do what they want to do or there are constrains they did not know about. in the planning department they will find if the use is permitted.
they won't be heard by the an agenda commission until we have heard from planning. the planning department gets the application and holds it like the other departments. i get something back that says planning approved. and gives me some other information for the record. the process continues. there is a public hearing where the commission hears about the proposed use. we hear from sfpd in the permit officer at the permit station; we hear from the applicant; the commission will vote on the application and may attach conditions. the applicant is usually not done with inspections at that point. 40 days have elapsed, not a lot of time
to have heard from six departments. once they are done with the long list the last thing is the sound inspection. we have a sound inspector on staff who does this. he goes to the space, sets a decibel limit. if there are specific neighbors above or cross the street or whatever, flushed out through this process and they want him to go to their house he will happy to do that. he will ask them to raise or lower the volume until it cannot be heard. that becomes part of the permit.
once the permit is issued, we trust that it will operate without issue. there is a whole enforcement process but that is the end of the process. i will add a word on conditions that you attach in the conditional use process or that we attach; with our commission there is a desire, well-intentioned, to micromanage the day-to-day operation of the space with conditions. you have 30-40 years of old
permits; if you look to them that are conditions and some that are better than others. we don't like to see include -- these are actual things -- no heavy metal music, no rap music. this is from the government. government is not supposed to do that. music cannot be amplified. it misses the point. marching bands are not amplified. there are large gosple choirs too. better conditions relate to the structure in the physical space and soundproofing. security enhancements through the space. that is everything in a nutshell. if you have any questions about
any of that i'm happy to answer. >> president fong: thank you. there may be questions when we open up public comment. is there any public comment on this particular item? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner hillis. >> commissioner hillis: a couple of quick questions. you have the ability to revoke the permit too? >>: yes. ultimately, it's -- a long suspension proceeding is what precedes that. it goes back to the first amendment issues. we don't act fast and step in immediately and say "permit revoked." there is a process that involves notice and the opportunity to respond. there is an eventual suspension of the permit.
it is important to keep in mind for your information and anyone listening is that we permit entertainment. revocation of the permit is not shutting the place down; it is a popular misconception even among employees of the city. we don't step in with a squad of people and shut a place down and say there is no more live entertainment. >> commissioner hillis: the same thing holds for us? a cu cannot be revoked? >>: a cu can be revoked through public hearing. >>: there is no transfer. in theory, if there was a nightclub owned by you commissioner antonini
and commissioner borden -- if you decided it was no longer fun for you and you wanted to sell your interest, and the management was substantially the same will probably amend the permit administratively. but if you all changed ownership, it is not commissioner sugaya's, they would have to go through the process. >> commissioner antonini: i have questions maybe historical.
i was looking at some of the areas. some of the areas where the -- -- and 33 is basically a permitted area. i don't know if something else was there before. also the shopping center at -- the small shopping center is the only thing i could figure would be the principal permitted part for entertainment. looks like around the safeway at fulton and la playa, i can't say the exact location. maybe it is a historical thing. the serious that are residential i am not objecting that entertainment is there but i wonder why. >>: the map is based on the underlining zoning.
the shopping centers are located within the ncf district, neighborhood commercial shopping center, far more permissive than the individual neighborhood commercial districts and also stonestown -- >> commissioner antonini: the zoning encompasses more things than just the fact that entertainment is permitted but there are a lot of things in there. they still have to go through the permitting process if located in those areas. >>: to better understand the noise ordinance, we can detail that in the various cities responsibilities in implementing the ordinance.
>>: i don't have the ordinance in front of me but i can give you review. enforcing the noise ordinance can be tough because a lot of it is fleeting. it's hard to wrap your head around who you should call. start with 311 or police nonemergency. there is construction noise which is different from motorcycle noise, different from noise from people, different from entertainment venues, different from street performers. administratively it is difficult to give you simple answer. sfpd has authority over much of that because they work 24/7
and they are police officers. they almost always have authority. i will talk about formal enforcement and informal enforcement. there is the informal call that anybody can make to the construction site that is starting at 6:30. i believe instruction sites can start at 7. people will say i am sorry, i did not know. nobody gets arrested. informal things do happen. one thing that is important is that with noise enforcement, it is not the answer that people want, but there are some things that we cannot fix of fix ell.
for example between 1:46 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. bars are closing, people leave, people are talking loud. it is annoying to hear screeching, giggling, we get a lot of complaints to 311, but there is no simple answer. we do ask our permit holders to control where they can control. usually that means simple things like posting a sign, hey, this is a residential area.
or by staggering the closure sometimes. half the club leaves at 1:30, half at 2. there is no simple answer the next everyone in san francisco happy. >>: as long as we were talking about sound and noise do you require the installation of an attenuator unit so if there is live entertainment it has to go through some kind of thing that limits the decibel level?
>>: the decibel level is limited by the permit. the bottom line is there is a sound limit. obviously there is flexibility in the venue about how they stay within that limit; sound travels in strange ways. i don't have the know-how to explain it well. in general when there is a problem we are pretty successful having people make correction so whoever is disturbed is no longer disturbed. >>: in a couple of cases where i have set in an entertainment issues there was a physical box that limited the decibel level. >>: i don't know any thing about the boxes.
i don't want to live you. our sound inspectors here. >>: if he's here he can step up to the mic. out of curiosity, in the entertainment definition number four is what it is. as the new owner of the nightclub that was recently transferred, purchased or whatever from abh llc to me, if it were to be a male-performing venue- >>: this definition doesn't cover that. that was bottomless but covered
on top, this definition does not cover that. >>: thank you. >>: commissioner borden. >>: i guess the question was, don't you guys occasionally install some kind of attenuating -- >>: the boxes you are referring to are known as sound limiter. i'm --- sound inspector for the entertainment commission. we do not install them. we can ensure that the venue install a sound limiter to a system. some limiters are only effective for what we call dj music or prerecorded and mixed on site. for a live band,
though it would be great if they work, they do not. because of the nature of the sound equipment needed. there needs to be a soundboard with lots of lines in and out. a dj equipment is simple. one source in and one source out. for live band you could have as many as five, or 36. huge concerts like at at&t park. you could have as many as 150. on the dj board, the sound reaches a certain level and the equipment is not allowed to go beyond.
it is like setting a dial. >>: mission commissioner borden. >> commissioner borden: you mentioned that permits go with the person. how does that work? if i own a business called borden and antonini, is it under my name or i can open up a new business and call it city hall ventures. my point is that if people on multiple businesses, is assigned to the person of the business name?
if so people permit history on venues that these people own? how do you do that? >>: number one all of about. sole proprietors; you own one place, family-owned businesses, llc, big corporations, hotels where management is listed. it is across the board. the bottom line is if there is a change that is substantial, changing from a biker bar to a karaoke bar, it is not a content issue. we are concerned about the new owner. how does he do things? >> commissioner borden: i am not concerned about the venue as much as saying i have a
venue on van ness and another on hayes. i operate the one on van ness really poorly but the one on hayes really well. good actor/bad actor conversation. the question in conditional use how do you determine who is a good project sponsor? >>: our process is not comfortable. is long and expensive. by the end of it we know who the operators are. to the uncomfortable process a relationship is formed.
this is not a huge bureaucracy that we are dealing with. four people. if somebody walks in and we know, oh, that's that guy who runs that place we say so. >> commissioner borden: is there a basis on which you cannot issue a permit? >>: spelled out. this goes back to the first-- our permits are "shall grant", you shall grant if abc -- our processor design for compliance, not designed to keep people out or punish people. it frustrates the heck out of sfpd and neighbors.
>> commissioner borden: the question that comes up sometime is, if someone wants the permit they go through the process, they can get it and it doesn't matter what their history is barring criminal activity. >>: i would not underestimate the importance of the sfpd entertainment commission informal powers. and the conditions attached to a permit. with specific cases like the ones you're talking about, when there is a concern, this person used to own this and that. and i remember. it is a small city. people will remember that you owned this venue and 10 years ago somebody got shot there and you were bad news.
you will undoubtedly get more scrutiny. your questions before the commission will be tougher; the ratio of guards to patrons will be higher. all sorts of things, specific concerns. operating history is fair game to consider in our permitting process. what is not fair game is making something up to deny. we cannot do that. that's a big no no. we get the person to adhere. i'm trying to think of a specific example. a grant that may be restricted. the designers don't want
scrutiny of us, of the police department our neighbors. they want to operate to make money. they want to follow the rules. some of them are hardheaded; they either come around to our rules after a painful scrutiny of they go out of business. you are well aware that if you pay attention to the venue in san francisco weather ahoma resident, you can find something wrong. all these things are used. we are talking about the two percent now, maybe not even that high. >> commissioner borden: in terms of inspections, you do a sound inspection. is that done in conjunction % like a friday night or saturday
night and surprise people know you are coming. obviously if you know the inspector is coming you will turn your music down. if you don't know the inspector is coming you would not necessarily do so. >>: that's a very good question. there are several kinds of inspections that we do. we do a sound section or site inspection. we set an appointment with the applicant; we going, it is a formal test. it would do an inspection based on complaint we do not let them know we're coming obviously we would
derail why we were there. that is a surprise inspection, a field inspection. anytime during operating hours we have the ability and right to show up. that is predominantly for a complaint. anyone who has been permitted by us would like to do a follow-up; maybe several months after they have been granted a permit we want to make sure they are complying. we do casual inspections. would not be visiting --